7 Tips For Creating An Award-Winning Case Study Video

 

 

Women smiling on an interview set with a bookcase behind herHere’s a compelling statistic: 69% of B2B marketers use case studies to help generate leads. Pair that with the 88% of video marketers reporting that video gives them a positive ROI, and the business opportunity for a case study video really comes into focus.

Here, we outline seven tips that have helped Karbo Com create videos that won over the minds of target audiences, (and the hearts of judges and award committees!).

Most recently our client, Penguin Computing, came to us to help promote the company’s involvement in Director Ang Lee’s blockbuster film Gemini Man in advance of the film’s world premiere. Karbo Com harnessed the power of a video case study to highlight the company’s solution and convey how it was essential to making the film a reality. 

Managing the entire video production process from conception to completion, the Karbo team developed a project plan and led the initiative smoothly, ahead of schedule and within the scope of the budget. The final videos were strategically released on social media, online, and at Penguin Computing’s biggest trade show event of the year. In recognition of the Gemini Man case study videos, Karbo Communications was awarded a Gold 2020 Hermes Creative Awards and won the 2020 Silver Telly Award.

 

 

1. Define Your Target Audience

The foundation for any case study starts with clearly defining who that target audience is and what drives their decision making. Honing your message to cater to a clearly defined audience will propel your case study video to have the greatest impact possible. 

Don’t know where to start? Ask your comms team to assist in developing personas to outline actionable insights about your target audience. Communications teams are experts at understanding where your message should land and how to get it to stick. 

 

2. Precisely Outline What You Want to Accomplish

The next step in the development process is crystalizing your communication goals and objectives. Begin by understanding what compels your target audience to take action by answering the following questions:

  • How do we outperform competitors in our market?
  • What are the key messages that will most clearly convey our benefits?
  • What do we want the audience to know, feel, and do after having watched the video?
  • What key elements of our messaging lend themselves well to video?

Once you have a firm grasp of what your goal is and what your objectives are, gather assets such as white papers, customer testimonials, and statistics to help illustrate your points. Having a specific goal and clearly articulated objectives allows you to evaluate materials you can use to support your “case,” and eliminate what’s extraneous. With those materials in hand, your communications team can begin crafting questions that guide your subjects to tell a compelling story.

 

3. Ask Leading Questions To Craft Your Story

When spearheading the development of a case study video, you’ll need to coax the right answers from sources. Guide your subjects to help tell your story by developing questions that cut to the chase. 

Ask questions that provoke your subjects elaborate on the following aspects of the project:

  • The situation
  • The problem
  • The solution
  • The outcome

Keep in mind that questions should always remain open-ended to stimulate interview subjects to expound on their thoughts. Follow that protocol and you may find yourself with some additional soundbites you didn’t even know you wanted!

 

Director Ang Lee filming Will Smith in Gemini Man

Behind the scenes at Karbo Com’s video for Penguin Computing showcasing how our client’s technology enabled director Ang Lee to bring Gemini Man to life.

4. Storyboard & Script the Narrative

A storyboard is a visual representation of a film sequence and breaks down the video’s elements into individual panels. Storyboarding your case study video will allow you to clearly establish the flow of the narrative and visualize how shots will flow and work together. It’s important to keep your visual brand identity in mind throughout the process to keep the video’s look and feel consistent with your brand. Ensure you have complete internal alignment on language, tone, and visuals before starting on the storyboard. The last thing you want is to discover the need to pivot halfway through production, wasting both time and money.

In the script, clearly articulate the opportunity, the solution, and the positive outcome. Support those key components with exciting and engaging visuals that illustrate, give color, and provide visual context to the story told by your interview subjects. Substantiate your successes by including data points in the script that highlight the impact your solution provided.

Lastly, include a “call to action” in your case study that drives your target audience to engage with your brand or your product. Remember, the greater goal of your case study video is to support marketing efforts, ultimately contributing to your bottom line.

 

 

 

5. Project Management is Critical

Assign a project manager to lead the planning process and handle day-to-day coordination to streamline production. Their role will be crucial in developing a production schedule and anticipating any roadblocks that could hinder progress. There are many moving parts from scheduling interviews and securing b-roll, to managing budget, location and props. It only takes one broken link in the chain to disrupt the entire production. Avoid that unnecessary headache by setting a realistic production schedule, emphasize production design and experienced direction, and secure buy-in from key stakeholders.

For the case study we orchestrated for Penguin Computing, the Karbo Com team assumed the role of project manager, setting the project budget, developing the storyboard and scripts, hiring a production team, and creating a launch plan that was ultimately executed and measured. Organizing all those components under one management umbrella allowed for a seamless production.

 

6. Keep It Brief

Video length matters! In fact, there’s a significant drop in viewer retention for videos longer than 2 minutes. Of course, length will vary depending on the content and the platform you are publishing to, but keep in mind that less is often more. 

Graph of average engagement vs. video length from Wistia

Average engagement vs. video length courtesy of Wistia

The best practice is to create cuts of varied length to best suit your website and social platforms. We’ve aggregated the optimal lengths per platform:

  • Instagram — 30 seconds or less
  • LinkedIn — 30 seconds to 5 minutes
  • Facebook — 2 minutes or less
  • Twitter — 20 to 45 seconds
  • YouTube — 2 minutes or less
  • Website — 5 to 10 minutes

For Penguin Computing, we developed a number of videos at varying lengths — allowing us to optimize each video for the specific platform it was published on and maximize engagement.

 

7. Launch Strategy

You’ve just finished your video. How do you decide when, where and how you’ll use it in your marketing efforts? There are a couple of ways you can boost visibility right off the bat:

  • Use company social accounts to promote the launch (you can even create a specific hashtag)
  • Optimize the video content for SEO by ensuring an SEO-friendly headline and appropriate meta descriptions and tags
  • Encourage internal teams and relevant contacts to share and engage with the case study from their own social accounts

To drive further visibility, work with your PR team to gauge where, when, and how content like a video case study should be promoted. Leverage your PR team’s expansive network of relationships with reporters, analysts, and influencers to get your message in front of the right people at the right time.

 

Thinking about creating your own case study video? Get in touch with us and see how we can work to develop a video that will help you achieve your goals.

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